By Steve Agbota
The Ports and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it generated a total N224.470 billion revenue, which represents about 49 per cent of the N238.224 billion set for 2020 adopted by the Command in 2021.
The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller, Festus Okun stated this yesterday in a press briefing in Lagos, said the revenue collected shows an increase of N35.122 billion when compared with the total N189. 347 billion revenue was generated in the previous year, which represents an increase of 19 per cent.
He said the Command handled export goods with a total tonnage of about 199,487 metric tons, with a total Free on Board (FOB) value of N132.451 billion.
In the area of anti-smuggling activities, he said the Command made some seizures in the year under review, adding that the seizure comprised of four (4) containers; (3x40ft & 1x20ft), which were found to contain bags of rice, vegetable oil, drinks, vehicles, pharmaceutical product and among others with a duty paid value of N55,529 million.
According to him, the seizures were effected because the importations were done in contravention of extant laws, saying that vegetable oil is listed under Schedule III of the Common External Tariff (CET) Prohibition (Trade).
Speaking on the challenges facing the Command, he lamented that the poor state of the access roads to the port and the accompanying gridlock impacted negatively on the turn-around time for the movement of cargo outside the port, and the movement of export cargo into the port.
Furthermore, he hinted that movements of officers and other stakeholders were largely affected, leading to the loss of man-hours. Also, he said there were cases of its personnel being involved in avoidable accidents.
“However, we must state that we benefitted from the improvement in the area of port access roads when compared with the previous year. Another challenge we had during the year was the volatile nature of our environment.
“However, with effective Stakeholder engagement, we were able to control the situation and sustain the relative peace we have been enjoying. Another area of challenge is the issue of 100 per cent physical examination of containerised cargo. This is due to the absence of scanners in the port. We are hoping that this will soon be a thing of the past once the e-Customs project is fully implemented,” he stated.
On trade facilitation, he said the Command sustained and improved on various measures emplaced to enhance facilitation of legitimate trade.
He said some of these measures were in the area of capacity building for officers, strengthening of the dispute resolution committee and building a strong team for quality service delivery, thus engendering ease of doing business.
He added that the Command has a functional help desk while “we keep our doors open to stakeholders for direct access.”